Letters: Keep boat launch public

Public boat launch in Sooke should not be privatized

Why is Sooke council so adamant that the boat launch operation has to be privatized?

As it has been built with our money, whoever runs it will be making all profit, as they had no outlay of expenses to build it.  When that is done, who pays for any repairs etc., that have to be done?

Council has stated there is at least $3,000 – $4,000 of work that still has to be done on the boat launch, who pays for this?

A couple of the councillors have stated that we can not have a free boat launch as Sooke has to try and recoup some of the money it expended building it. One councillor also stated that part of the grant process was that Sooke had to employ one person part time at the launch. How do you employ someone when another group is running the launch? Either these councillors are liars or have no idea what they are talking about. At 10 per cent of the revenue coming to Sooke, we will never recover any of the expense. I would doubt that 10 per cent will even cover the associated running expenses. They still have the issue of not enough boat trailer parking to deal with.

Why can’t Sooke operate the boat launch themselves? The residents of Sooke (with proof of residendency) could buy a monthly pass ($60) or yearly pass ($600) at the town hall. If the yearly passes were only on sale for the months of January and February, this would also let the council add to next year’s budget as they would already know what a percentage of the revenue stream would be. As people are already employed at the town hall, the cost would be very minimal to print out a coloured paper pass. This would be displayed in the vehicle while at the launch site. Day launch fees would still apply for people without the pass or non-residents. One person from the town hall could go to the boat launch and collect fees from the box once a day. By Sooke running the boat launch, 90 per cent of the revenue generated would be profit which could be put into the revenue stream and help offset other expenses and help lower taxes.

Sooke has already sold a lot of the park spaces, is giving a large chunk of park to a private group to use for a bike course, and now are giving away our boat launch. When will it stop? It is time that the residents of Sooke stood up and said enough is enough. No more giving our assets away. Speak up and be heard.

D. Widrick

Sooke